Wed, 21 Jun 2000

Alleged gambling operator could face light sentence

JAKARTA (JP): A prosecutor demanded on Tuesday that the Central Jakarta District Court sentence an alleged gambling operator to 10 months imprisonment with eight months for his three employees.

The demand, however, was far lower than the term suggested in Article 303 of the Criminal Code, which proposes a maximum 10 years in jail for any person convicted of purposely offering or granting gambling opportunities.

"I ask the court to sentence the first defendant (gambling operator) to 10 months in jail, and the second, third and fourth defendants, who are employees of the first defendant, to eight months in jail each," prosecutor Samadi Budisyam said.

Samadi told the hearing that the Central Jakarta Police detectives arrested Charles Pakpahan, 48, and his four employees, on the charge of running an illegal operation of judi buntut in Room No. 1907 of Block B of the Oasis Apartments in Central Jakarta on Feb. 29 this year.

Charles's four employees were identified as Lukdin Pakpahan, 39, who died of severe stress at the Salemba Penitentiary in Central Jakarta earlier this year; Ronal Pakpahan, 22; Rano Said, 22, and Irsal alias Sal, 33.

Judi buntut, also known as togel or toto gelap, is a lottery based on four numbers released every two or three days by dozens of gambling operators.

Samadi said the operation run by Charles, comprised bets from three different types, namely Karya Bhakti, Jaya Bhakti and Dana Bhakti.

"Charles was the operator who prepared the ticket books, the codes and decided on the winning numbers," Samadi said.

To date, it is not known how operators select the winning numbers.

Upon leaving the courtroom, all four defendants warmly shook hands with Samadi and thanked him for demanding light sentences at the hearing.

Togel has simple rules. Those who correctly guess the last two of the four winning numbers announced are paid 60 times what they bet.

Those who match all four winning numbers receive 2,500 times what they bet.

Most togel operators have agents across the city. An agent usually works for more than one operator.

Samadi said Irsal, who worked five days for Charles at a daily rate of Rp 20,000, worked as the Tanah Abang coordinator for Karya Bhakti.

His work consisted of getting the ticket books from Charles, passing them out to agents in the capital and getting the numbers from the agents.

Samadi said Lukdin, who worked 20 days for Charles at a daily rate of Rp 50,000 (US$5.80), received the numbers from field coordinators for Jaya Bhakti, which each day earns up to Rp 4 million.

Ronal, who worked 10 days at a daily rate of Rp 20,000, received the numbers from the field coordinators for Karya Bhakti, which each day earns up to Rp 12 million.

Rano, who worked for a month on a daily salary of Rp 20,000 received the numbers from the field coordinators for Dana Bhakti. (ylt)